While it might lack the world-class cultural institutions of Berlin, Belgrade, at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, offers its own distinctive appeal, with storybook historical districts and venerable fortresses and parks. Better still, this center of Slavic cool just got much easier to reach: Direct flights from North America, via New York City, started in June on Air Serbia. Throw in Belgrade’s cafe scene, low prices, talented young designers, emerging former industrial districts, sausage-filled cuisine and unbridled night life — from D.J. bars to party boats to all-hours nightclubs — and the comparison seems even more compelling.
This is a city that staged a revolution, was headquartered by Nazis, bombed to bits, divided in two and finally reunited – and that was just in the 20th century! Walk along remnants of the Berlin Wall, marvel at the splendour of a Prussian palace, visit Checkpoint Charlie or stand in the very room where the Holocaust was planned. Berlin is like an endlessly fascinating 3D textbook where the past is very much present wherever you go.